Spinal Decompression Therapy

If you experience neck or back pain, or suffer from injured spinal nerve roots, nonsurgical spinal decompression can be a non-invasive treatment for pain relief. This treatment is typically performed by a physical therapist and involves gentle lengthening and stretching of the spine.

This treatment might be used in combination with exercise, rest, and other physical therapy modalities for full pain relief. When nonsurgical spinal decompression is performed, the patient lies on a table. He or she should be in a comfortable position, and attached to the spinal decompression machine with a harness around his or her pelvis and possibly the torso. Then the therapist controls the machine to initiate a gentle pulling on the body to stretch out the spine, decompressing the discs. This allows fluid and oxygenated blood to flow through the injured discs, promoting healing.

It’s thought if a person with bulging discs receives frequent spinal decompression treatments, his or her discs can move back into shape. The treatment can last anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes and sessions might stretch over the course of several weeks. In addition to the non surgical decompression, the therapist might apply heat or cold to relax the muscles, or electrical stimulation or ultrasound to decrease inflammation and reduce pain.